18 September 2012
Wolff: Williams considering options
Toto Wolff says Williams hasn't decided on its driver line-up for the 2013 F1 season
Williams shareholder Toto Wolff insists that the team is still considering its options when it comes to its 2013 F1 driver line-up and that no decision had yet been taken about it future plans.
Speculation has been rife that test driver Valtteri Bottas could be promoted into a race seat for next season at the expense of Bruno Senna, but Wolff said the team had yet to make the decision and didn't want to distract its current line-up even though a decision needs to be taken in the not-too-distant future.
“It's too early to say,” he told the official F1 website. “Sure, we are taking different looks at the issue, but the minute we discuss it we are going to mess-up Pastor and Bruno - and maybe others that we try talking to - so I would give it another month before we are going to have the first idea of what we want.
“Announcing a driver line-up is always an interesting topic so I think we take the approach of making an announcement when it will excite people. Whether it will be in-season or not, I don't know yet, but we don't want to drag it out too long.”
With the current pairing, Williams has returned to the top of the podium with Maldonado, although the Venezuelan has struggled to build on his surprise success at Catalunya – with Wolff believing that a clash with Sergio Perez in Monaco had had a negative impact on his driver, who has been caught up in numerous incidents this year.
“He has got a huge raw talent - he is extremely fast,” he said, “and he is a nice guy, which is important because you need to be socially competent to function in that environment. The new generation of drivers needs to be like that.
“Yes, he seems to struggle in some situations in the race. From one stupid, heated incident in Monaco it has almost become an avalanche - and this is affecting his performance. But I think he has understood now that he has to take a different approach - this is not GP2. But he is an intelligent guy and he will learn from it. He understands that he is in a difficult situation, but he will rise above it. Of that I am 100 percent sure.
“Remember Ayrton Senna in the beginning? Nobody wanted to touch him. In those days there weren't many grid penalties, but had there been he would probably have had to go back 10 places on the grid many times. (laughs)
“We accept all the decisions made by the stewards - we must as they are the police - so maybe Pastor has to change the way he is driving and he has accepted that. So we take it from there. I am sure we will see many more successful races from him in the future.”
Wolff also added that Senna may be putting too much pressure on himself in the other car, with the team doing all it could to support the Brazilian as he seeks to challenge towards the front of the field himself.
“Bruno is very intelligent and very sensitive and that means he is putting a lot of pressure on himself,” he said. “Whether it is the name or not, I don't know. Every racing driver in F1 is very competitive and Bruno is trying to fight the fact that he hasn't had a huge racing education, as the family didn't want him to go racing. But he has made his way into F1, which means that he is good. He has an extremely fast team-mate and he needs to follow his path. He is pushing very hard and we are trying to support him as best we can.”
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